Hella halogen headlight bulb mod

1941 - 1945, MB, GPW modifications, sugestions, and ideas, official MWO's and unofficial WWII field mods NO EBAY or COMMERCIAL SALES.
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bryanbdp
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Hella halogen headlight bulb mod

Post by bryanbdp » Sat Sep 26, 2020 6:15 pm

I plan to drive my jeep a great deal, so good headlamps were a priority. I have a 54 amp 10si alternator, so I'm good on the power side.
There are a lot of different 5 3/4 headlamps out there. Many of them are for motorcycles.
These Hella lights are very reasonably priced, and very high quality with metal reflectors and replaceable H4 bulbs.
I got these from Summit racing for $29.75 each plus a pair of 80/100 watt high output halogen bulbs for 6.99. With shipping and tax my total was $82.40 I've paid more than that for ONE Hella lamp in the past.

These bulbs, and I suspect most OE bulbs, don't clock properly to the WWII bucket. However, it was easily fixed. I put some yellow paint on the three alignment bosses and put the bulb into the bucket with the top of the headlamp nearest the large mounting bolt. One of the tabs, the wide one, is fine the way it is. The other two tabs stick out further and a notch needs to be cut for those two. Using the yellow paint that transferred to the bucket as a guide, I created two small notches using an angle grinder with a cutoff wheel. Took a few minutes to fine tune the size of the notches.
Then the bulb fits in the correct depth for the retaining door to hold the bulb in snugly, and the notches will clock the bulb to the proper position. The rubber boot even fit in the bucket OK. I have not tried fitting the plugs yet, as the ceramic plugs I ordered have not arrived. However, if clearance is an issue, I can skip the plug and just use the bare terminals as long as they're on the proper pins. Regular H4 bulbs are also available, which are around 50/60 watt if I recall correctly.

I'm pretty sure you can get LED bulbs that will fit in place of the H4 bulbs, so you can go the LED route using these bulb/reflectors as well. This would be a great way to go if the alternator isn't that big. I will also use headlamp relays so my 70 year old NOS headlamp switch will hopefully last a long time.
These are automotive spec bulbs, and should have a useful pattern when driving. And you have to love the German writing on the box "Scheinwerfereinsatz" isn't a word you hear everyday! Probably sacrilege putting a Jerry bulb on my MB, but Hella makes a great bulb. And technically, it's made in Romania!


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parker007
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Re: Hella halogen headlight bulb mod

Post by parker007 » Sat Sep 26, 2020 8:59 pm

thanks for information, jeeps at night on roads with suvs are so dangerous.

Rod Rushton
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Re: Hella halogen headlight bulb mod

Post by Rod Rushton » Sun Sep 27, 2020 11:45 am

Ten years ago I converted mine to Quartz Halogen bulbs, and the lens also have side lights or in Jeep parlance, marker lights leaving the marker lights free to become indicators.
In order to relieve the dip - switch of handling all that power, I incorporated a couple of relays so the dip switch does not have to power the lights, just operate the relays, and took the opportunity to put in a couple of fuses in both dip and main circuits. The relays pick up feed from the starter, so the voltage drop is minimal, which in itself improves the light output.
For safety, I always travel with lights on, and so far the modification has been 100% reliable.
Rod Rushton - Winner 2013 MVT Wilkinson Sword Trophy
Exeter Devon UK
FORD GPW 202055 DoD 5 - 22 - 44 Serial# 20534360
MBT # 25553 DoD 4 - 43
Piper Cub 1944 L4H 480015 G-AKIB

1942 CHEVROLET G506 CARGO. #2NM 213219
1943 AUSTIN LIGHT UTILITY M6448770

bryanbdp
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Re: Hella halogen headlight bulb mod

Post by bryanbdp » Tue Nov 17, 2020 6:39 pm

I put the headlamps together today, and found that a normal headlamp plug will not fit, it hits the rear of the housing.
I ended up putting eye terminals on the ends of the wires, and used 3mm nuts and bolts to bolt the wires directly to the bulb terminals using the preexisting holes. This allows the wires to be positioned so they point to the sides for clearance. I ran the ground wire to the internal screw, then ran another out with the power wires. I will run this short wire under the bracket and attach it to the bottom of the bolt used to secure the bracket grounding wire. It should be out of sight, but provide a positive ground instead of relying on the stud and wiper setup.


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